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Spectral efficiency is a key characteristic of cellular communications systems, as it quantifies how well the scarce spectrum resource is utilized. It is influenced by the scheduling algorithm as well as the signal and interference statistics, which, in turn, depend on the propagation characteristics. In this paper we derive analytical expressions for the short-term and long-term channel-averaged spectral efficiencies of the round robin, greedy Max-SINR, and proportional fair schedulers, which are popular and cover a wide range of system performance and fairness trade-offs. A unified spectral efficiency analysis is developed to highlight the differences among these schedulers. The analysis is different from previous work in the literature in the following aspects: (i) it does not assume the co-channel interferers to be identically distributed, as is typical in realistic cellular layouts, (ii) it avoids the loose spectral efficiency bounds used in the literature, which only considered the worst case and best case locations of identical co-channel interferers, (iii) it explicitly includes the effect of multi-tier interferers in the cellular layout and uses a more accurate model for handling the total co-channel interference, and (iv) it captures the impact of using small modulation constellation sizes, which are typical of cellular standards. The analytical results are verified using extensive Monte Carlo simulations.
Date of Publication: December 2011